Luke Perry died tragically on March 4, 2019 at age 52. The actor was beloved by fans for a wide range of acting roles. He most well known as Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210, in which he appeared in 199 episodes beginning in 1990 and ending in 2000. But his career went well beyond just that role.
Perry was in nearly 100 television shows and movies. At the time of his death, he was enjoying a starring role in the CW hit Riverdale playing Fred Andrews.
On Wednesday, the show returns for its fourth season, but it’ll be its first without Perry.
Perry suffered a massive stroke on Feb. 27 and was rushed to the hospital. He was initially conscious, but it soon became clear he was not going to recover. On March 4, the family decided to remove him from life support.
In a statement, the family said, “Actor Luke Perry, 52, passed away today after suffering a massive stroke. He was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophia, fiancé [sic] Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends.”
Soon after his death, his 21-year-old son, Jack, broke his silence about his father’s passing.
"He was a lot of things to a lot of people. To me, he was always Dad," he wrote. "He loved and supported me in everything, and inspired me to be the best that I could possibly be."
"I’ve learned so much from you, and my heart is broken thinking about everything you won’t be here for," he continued. "I’ll miss you every day that I walk this earth. I’ll do whatever I can to carry on your legacy and make you proud. I love you Dad."
Perry’s daughter, Sophie, also used Instagram to address her father’s death and the outpouring of support the family received.
“I cannot individually respond to the hundreds of beautiful and heartfelt messages, but I see them, and appreciate you all for sending positivity to my family and I,” she wrote. “I’m not really sure what to say or do in this situation, it’s something you aren’t ever given a lesson on how to handle, especially when it’s all happening in the public eye. So [bear] with me and know that I am grateful for all the love. Just, being grateful quietly.”
Tiffani Theissan, who worked with him on Beverly Hills 90210, posted her memories on Instagram. "My heart has been weighing heavy. The loss of a man who started as my co-star but quickly became my friend," she wrote. "He welcomed me on my very first day of  with open arms. A day that was not an easy one for me. I was coming in to a show, a family really, that had been together for over 4 years. But this man took me under his wing and made me feel at home. Made me feel like I belonged in his TV family.
"He was sincere, sweet, warm, kind, professional and funny as all heck. And most of all, the definition of a gentleman. Luke, our world has a hole in it now that you aren’t here. But heaven definitely gained you as an angel," Thiessen added.
Cole Sprouce, who co-starred with Perry on Riverdale, shared his thoughts on the tragic news in the days after.
“We’re recovering, yeah. It’s obviously not the easiest thing to talk about, but he was well-loved and there’s been an outpouring of emotional support from people around the world, which just goes to show what a wonderful person he was and how much he impacted people’s lives and impacted our lives,” he said. “But I know that his family has requested privacy during this period and I respect that quite a bit.”
Another Riverdale star, Camila Mendes, used her Instagram to remember Perry.
"I will never forget the collective shock and distress we experienced when the news broke on set. We lost a dear friend. My heart hurts for his family and anybody who had the pleasure of knowing him. Rest in peace, Luke. Although you’re no longer around to wrap me in the warmth of your hug, I can still remember what it felt like. Whenever I think of you, I will remember that feeling."
Kristy Swanson co-starred with Perry in the 1992 cult classic film Buffy the Vampire Slayer shared an emotional Instagram post about Perry.
"I abruptly woke at 4:30am thinking about you Luke & I couldn’t go back to sleep, then 5 hours later I hear you are gone," Swanson wrote on the day Perry passed. "The tears won’t stop & they never ever will. You were that guy, that forever friend, we always had each others back & I will always remember you this way..."
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